News24

SA ready for World Cup - Zuma

2010-04-20 14:27

Johannesburg - South Africa is "more than ready" for the FIFA World Cup tournament, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Zuma was speaking at the opening of the newly constructed Central Terminal Building at OR Tambo International Airport.

"You can see when we say we are ready it is not just rhetoric. We mean what we say."

He said that as the airport's name changed from the Johannesburg International Airport to the OR Tambo International Airport in 2006, "so did its form and size".

A transport action plan was developed in 2005 in preparation for the World Cup, as part of which R20bn was put into expanding airports countrywide.

"... Now we are seeing the results," said Zuma.

Economic spinoffs

He said the tournament's economic spinoffs of the tournament and the impact on job creation had already been "remarkable".

As a result, R4.9bn would be added to the country's gross domestic product in 2010.

"And it is also important to note that the infrastructure we have created will be a lasting legacy for South Africa."

Zuma said that government's vision of a truly international airport was realised with the completion of the R2.2bn central terminal building at OR Tambo International Airport. Prior to his speech, Zuma unveiled a plaque on the arrivals floor of the central terminal building.